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EPA and GSA Recognize the Newest Electronics Certified Recycling Facility

Release Date: 11/15/2011
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 or heron.donna@epa.gov

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (November 15, 2011) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. General Services Administration recognized AERC/Com-Cycle at an event today for becoming the region's newest electronics Certified Responsible Recycler (R2) facility.

Today's America Recycles event at AERC/Com-Cycle's Allentown facility highlights EPA’s partnership with industry aimed at promoting environmentally-sound management of used electronics, and encouraging businesses and consumers to recycle their electronics with certified recyclers. As an R2 certified electronics recycler, AERC/Com-Cycle operates all its facilities in accordance with the most stringent certification standard in the electronics recycling industry.

EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin and GSA Regional Administrator David H. Ehrenwerth got a tour of the plant and learned how the company operates.

“An expanding electronics recycling industry has tremendous environmental and economic potential. This industry makes addressing pollution profitable, and conserves natural resources while creating green jobs,” said Garvin. “Traditionally most people think of recycling as cans, bottles and paper. But electronics is a growing area of concern. Industry leaders like Com-Cycle are demonstrating that environmental stewardship and job creation go hand-in-hand".

As part of the president's new National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship, GSA and EPA are promoting the development of new environmental performance standards for categories of electronic products not covered by current standards.

"By some estimates, the federal government goes through 10,000 computers a week. Requiring that each of those machines end their useful lives at a certified recycler could mean big business," said GSA's Ehrenwerth. "Ultimately, the federal government is set on making the country’s largest consumer of electronics the country’s most responsible user of electronics"

AERC/Com-Cycle is one of the nation's largest certified electronics recycler. AERC operates ten facilities throughout the United States in Allentown, Pa., Ashland, Va., West Melbourne, Fla., Houston, Tx. and Hayward, Ca. The company has grown from one employee handling electronics at one facility to five electronics processing facilities in these regions and employs approximately 200 people. The Allentown facilities alone process more than 600,000 pounds of electronics for reuse and recycling each month, and employs nearly 60 people, and operates two shifts five days a week. Over the past two years Com-Cycle's electronics recycling workforce has risen 15 percent.

“By having all of its electronics processing Com-Cycle locations around the nation distinguished as R2 / RIOS™ Certified Electronics Recycler® facilities, AERC continues to demonstrate its commitment to compliance, investment in its best practices and the ability to provide its clients with a competitive solutions, said Lindsay L. Kissel, spokesperson for AERC/Com-Cycle. "Electronics are one of the few waste streams that are 100 percent recyclable. AERC’s positioning in the marketplace demonstrates the company’s commitment to recycling electronics in a safe and environmentally friendly way here in the U.S.. AERC is pleased to be a part of a solution that facilitates the creation of jobs, turning the economy around and ultimately protecting the environment - all through proper electronics recycling,”

There are two existing domestic third-party electronics recycling certification standards, R2 and E-Stewards.

For more information on the EPA and industry collaboration go to: http://www.epa.gov/electronicsstrategy.

For more information on GSA’s electronic stewardship goals and promoting federal agencies’ purchasing Environmentally Preferable Products go to:
http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/234565.

For more information on where and how you can recycle electronics go to: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/recycle.htm or www.earth911.com.

To locate a list of Responsible Recycling (R2) Certified Electronics Recyclers go to: http://www.r2solutions.org/index.php?submenu=Recyclers&src=gendocs&ref=R2CertifiedRecyclers&category=Main.

To locate a list of e-Stewards Certified Electronics Recyclers go to: http://e-stewards.org/find-a-recycler/.